# Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Survey

The various attributes of God that are seemingly incompatible was reviewed by Theodore Drange in his 1998 paper Incompatible-Properties Arguments: A Survey. It lists many forms of the argument from incompatible attributes.

## Variations

### The Perfection vs. Creation Argument, Version 1

Main Article: Problem of non-God objects
1. If God exists, then he is perfect.
2. If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3. A perfect being can have no needs or wants.
4. If any being created the universe, then he must have had some need or want.
5. Therefore, it is impossible for a perfect being to be the creator of the universe (from 3 and 4).
6. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

### The Perfection vs. Creation Argument, Version 2

Main Article: Argument from poor design
1. If God exists, then he is perfect.
2. If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3. If a being is perfect, then whatever he creates must be perfect.
4. But the universe is not perfect.
5. Therefore, it is impossible for a perfect being to be the creator of the universe (from 3 and 4).
6. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

### The Immutability vs. Creation Argument

Main Article: Divine simplicity
1. If God exists, then he is immutable.
2. If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3. An immutable being cannot at one time have an intention and then at a later time not have that intention.
4. For any being to create anything, prior to the creation he must have had the intention to create it, but at a later time, after the creation, no longer have the intention to create it.
5. Thus, it is impossible for an immutable being to have created anything (from 3 and 4).
6. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5)

### The Immutability vs. Omniscience Argument

1. If God exists, then he is immutable.
2. If God exists, then he is omniscient.
3. An immutable being cannot know different things at different times.
4. To be omniscient, a being would need to know propositions about the past and future.
5. But what is past and what is future keep changing.
6. Thus, in order to know propositions about the past and future, a being would need to know different things at different times (from 5).
7. It follows that, to be omniscient, a being would need to know different things at different times (from 4 and 6).
8. Hence, it is impossible for an immutable being to be omniscient (from 3 and 7).
9. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 8).

### The Immutable vs. All-Loving Argument

1. If God exists, then he is immutable.
2. If God exists, then he is all-loving.
3. An immutable being cannot be affected by events.
4. To be all-loving, it must be possible for a being to be affected by events.
5. Hence, it is impossible for an immutable being to be all-loving (from 3 and 4).
6. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

### The Transcendence vs. Omnipresence Argument

1. If God exists, then he is transcendent (i.e., outside space and time).
2. If God exists, then he is omnipresent.
3. To be transcendent, a being cannot exist anywhere in space.
4. To be omnipresent, a being must exist everywhere in space.
5. Hence, it is impossible for a transcendent being to be omnipresent (from 3 and 4).
6. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

### The Transcendence vs. Personhood Argument

1. If God exists, then he is transcendent (i.e., outside space and time).
2. If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being).
3. If something is transcendent, then it cannot exist and perform actions within time.
4. But a person (or personal being) must exist and perform actions within time.
5. Therefore, something that is transcendent cannot be a person (or personal being) (from 3 and 4).
6. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

### The Nonphysical vs. Personal Argument

1. If God exists, then he is nonphysical.
2. If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being).
3. A person (or personal being) needs to be physical.
4. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1-3).

### The Omnipresence vs. Personhood Argument

1. If God exists, then he is omnipresent.
2. If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being).
3. Whatever is omnipresent cannot be a person (or a personal being).
4. Hence, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1-3).

### The Omniscient vs. Free Argument

1. If God exists, then he is omniscient.
2. If God exists, then he is free.
3. An omniscient being must know exactly what actions he will and will not do in the future.
4. If one knows that he will do an action, then it is impossible for him not to do it, and if one knows that he will not do an action, then it is impossible for him to do it.
5. Thus, whatever an omniscient being does, he must do, and whatever he does not do, he cannot do (from 3 and 4).
6. To be free requires having options open, which means having the ability to act contrary to the way one actually acts.
7. So, if one is free, then he does not have to do what he actually does, and he is able to do things that he does not actually do (from 6).
8. Hence, it is impossible for an omniscient being to be free (from 5 and 7).
9. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 8).

### The Justice vs. Mercy Argument

1. If God exists, then he is an all-just judge.
2. If God exists, then he is an all-merciful judge.
3. An all-just judge treats every offender with exactly the severity that he/she deserves.
4. An all-merciful judge treats every offender with less severity than he/she deserves.
5. It is impossible to treat an offender both with exactly the severity that he/she deserves and also with less severity than he/she deserves.
6. Hence, it is impossible for an all-just judge to be an all-merciful judge (from 3-5).
7. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 6).